Thursday, April 26, 2007

spt - reduce, reuse, recycle

this is one of the images of my youth that definitely shaped my relationship with mother earth. who can forget the image of the tear running down the chief's face as he surveyed his land littered with trash? my elementary school self vowed that i would help keep the land clean!

it was much easier to be a grade school child, living in a home created by two environmentally-aware parents. all around me were little things we did every day to live a greener life (i don't think "green" as an adjective was used quite that way back then.) we had two huge vegetable gardens, we composted, my dad rode his bicycle to work, we carpooled everywhere, we turned off lights in empty rooms, we camped and lived by the golden rule of camping: leave your campsite cleaner than you found it.

how has this "awareness of the earth" carried over into my adult life? i try to be sensitive about my environment, try to do little things that probably have little impact on the global scale, but can make my corner of the world more sustainable.

i do reuse plastic shopping bags as trashbags. (yes, i know they are still getting into the landfill, but at least i am not also contributing plastic trash bags.)

we also use a water cooler company, and we refill plastic bottles obsessively.

i use cloth rags for cleaning, and limit paper towel use to only the really yucky tasks.

i turn off lights everywhere, and we keep our heating/air at very moderate temps.

i wash clothes in cold water (well, okay, except sometimes my whites.)

i think the most important thing i do is to continue to pick up trash. constantly. as i take my daily walk, i am always dismayed to see the amount of junk that has accumlated (and this is in a residential neighborhood. don't get me started on the public roads and highways.) every few weeks, jack and matty and i pick up the fast food wrappers and beer cans that just keep showing up. it's an ongoing task, but it gives me great satisfaction every time we do it.

i can be doing a lot more. i feel my awareness is keen, my follow-through needs to be kick-started. (i know i shouldn't buy products encased in layers and layers of packaging. has that ever prevented me from buying something? no.) my town doesn't have curbside recycling, so i don't recycle. yet, i drive by the free recycling station twice a day!! i know i should buy local produce to cut down on the fuel and packaging it takes to bring california strawberries to my grocery store. we don't have farmer's market, but why don't i check out one of those local farmstands? or the farmer in his pickup on the side of the road selling silver queen corn??

unfortunately, the financial impact of going greener affects many of my decisions. right now, it is just plain expensive to execute my three R's. personal feelings about al gore aside, i applaud the fact that environmental concerns are FINALLY getting main stream attention. i think it's important for *hollywood* to spend as much money on global warming concerns as they do on darfur. or AIDS in africa. or breast cancer awareness. it's just as important!

did you ever imagine wal-mart would be encouraging us to wear organic pajama bottoms?? it is definitely time for these multi-million dollar companies to step up to the plate.

focusing on earth day this week helped me refocus on every day. i'm going to try to keep this at the forefront for me. i leave you with an easy way for you chocolate lovers to do your part! check out endangered species chocolate.

(what? no self-portrait?? i'm just happy to finally get this posted!)


Kristi Brooke said...

i will never forget that commerical when i was a kid...

Amy said...

Yay Lelly! I'm on my way out of town, but had to check in on you one last time. Enjoy your weekend!

carlo said...

oh that commercial hit me too. i remember getting so upset as a kid to see litter along the road

so good to see that your parents did so much, even before it was really promoted (for lack of a better word) to do so much. your family sounds really neat lelly!

on my way out of town as well but like amy, i had to check one last time and i am so glad i did!

have a great weekend.

Jenny said...

The thing I remember most about not litering is "Give A Hoot Don't Pollute!" .......... In the city or in the woods help keep America lookin' good. Hoot Hoot. Sorry for the song I couldn't resist.

Have a great weekend!

Amanda :-) said...

I can't stand litter either, Lelly.

The 'Keep Britain Tidy' campaign did a famous TV advert here that I always remember. They had an actor reading out Shakespeare's King Richard II:

"This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England."

And as this way read out, they showed a montage of streets cluttered up with absolute garbage. Very thought-provoking.

Kelly said...

I've never seen that commercial, but it sounds like it was quite effective.

Enjoy your weekend!

Barb said...

I couldn't believe I found beer bottles to pick up on my hike this week. If you're into nature enough to hike, how aren't you into nature enough to pack your own garbage out? Littering is a pet peeve of mine.